Cause when the luck runs out

your just left with a half wit for a manager.

After the 2-1 debacle in Russia yesterday, today should have seen a new start for the England football team.

England manager McClown - but for how long

The cretin that is Brian Barwick (Chief Executive of The Football Association) should have been standing outside F.A. headquarters this morning explaining to one and all that he lied to us all when he said that McClown was his first choice – we knew it then and we know it now, he was only first choice for the Middlesbrough chairman and fans who wanted shot of the muppet from their club – and that after being responsible for installing him in the job, which was well beyond his capabilities they would both be standing down from their respective positions with immediate effect. Was he? No he was blathering about backing the man that has over seen us on the verge of failing to qualify from a very easy group.

Yes there’s still a mathematical chance England can qualify for Euro 2008, though it will require a victory over Croatia, unlikely and for Russia to slip up in Israel, well with their billionaire benefactor Roman Abramovich in tow when they stump up in a country that he has close ties with I can’t see that happening. Though you never know it would be just like our luck, get into the tournament but at the cost of saving McClown’s job.

That was a big problem yesterday, I don’t ever really want England to lose but by doing so it would mean his period in charge would be closer to ending.

Yes the luck ran out yesterday, I didn’t think it was a penalty for the equaliser, of course I am biased but minimal contact outside the area and the swan dive was only beaten in artistic merit by that of Rooney’s – who didn’t complain about the decision which is so unlike him and made you think it was a stonewaller – but it should never have got as far as having Rooney defend the box, much like the Russian winner, which will see Robinson get all the flack but he shouldn’t have need to make a save in the first place.

The equaliser started with England under pressure the ball goes out wide left to Joe Cole who instead of trying to relieve the pressure with a pitch long run into the empty space ahead of him, decides to do some showboating, one step-over later the ball is lost, Cole is out of position for defending and it’s left down to Rooney, who should never be this deep. Criticism has to come Lescott’s way as well, he hasn’t looked up to it at this level during the last two games and was playing far too far inside, even if it was a three centre back system, but that is nothing new, it would be exactly where Ashley Cole would be in the same situation, he only ever goes wide when playing Portugal and Ronaldo.

The winner, well again England camped out in their own box, usual course of events under McClown and Svennis before him, defending far too deep and panicking when doing so, instead of someone putting their foot through the ball to clear they stabbed at it, never getting more than a few yards past the edge of the 18 yard area.

Yet again as they have done game after game they repeatedly backed off an opponent and let him run towards goal and have a clean shot as they ponced out of trying to block it – Ferdinand just stood and looked at it didn’t even bother to do the fake “I’m trying to block” poncy back turn – causing Robinson to parry the ball down and again is in nearly every time he does that the defenders stood and watched as an attacker slotted the ball home. Robinson has to take some blame, he needs push balls wide from saves, it’s obviously something he picked up from his predecessor at Leeds Nigel Martyn, who used to do it on a regular basis, but he’s not the main culprit the save shouldn’t have been required.

It could have been different had Gerrard taken a very simple chance to put us 2-0 up, perfect free kick from Barry, all on his tod at the back post and he did what he usually does with England went for glory and failed. I can now see why a certain journalist describes Gerrard as the heartbeat of the England team in nearly every one of his columns, it’s not because as the writer of Gerrards’ autobiography he has a financial interest in bigging up the player it’s because England are now on life support.

So now we need a new manager, yet again, after just over a year we need what we needed last time, someone who isn’t star struck, someone who will look at the likes of Gerrard and say you haven’t deserved all those caps never mind being in for captain you are out. Someone who will make substitutions that will change the game in a positive way for England, like Hiddink did in both the games against us. In the first he brought on a player before half time in a tactical switch to attack our left, which worked and sparked them into life and yesterday he did the same when he introduced Torbinsky at half time. McCLown just waited until all was lost and made two dumb usual suspect subs, what the hell was Lumpalard and Downing going to achieve, and brought Crouch on far too late.

Under Svennis we were dull in qualifying and even more insipid in the tournaments but at least he got us there, McClown is certainly the nadir of English football managers, he out turnips even the hapless Graham Taylor.

Who is there to replace him? Jose, Jurgen or even Guss. The latter has said he’ll sign an extension to his contract with Russia but hasn’t done so yet. Klinsmann did reasonably well with a not too great German side in the last World Cup but has he his sights on the Spurs job. Jose, well I would and I wouldn’t like him in the job, if he did what he did at Porto and Chelsea he would make them into winners but it would also see the likes of Lumpalard and the Coles guaranteed their places.

I spoke out against picking Martin O’Neill before hand, though at the time I wanted him ahead of McClown, as teams he put out were dull but you look at what he’s done with Villa since taking over, I wouldn’t mind seeing England play like that with the English players he has in his squad. Of course it’s too late now, I can’t see him leaving.

Whoever it is the search starts now thanks to Brian Barwick….

Was there great anger down south yesterday? Are there letters to the editors of all the major papers complaining?

About what? About the Jock game being shown on the B.B.C. in England when England’s game wasn’t shown on the channel.

I doubt it, it’s not like up here where the last few weeks have seen numerous “Disgusted of Drumnadrochit” letters to the editor because the Jock games weren’t shown but B.B.C. Scotland did broadcast the England games, bit too thick to figure it was due to the J.F.A. selling their souls to Sky. You’d think with obesity rates north of the border those chips on shoulders wouldn’t have lasted this long without being eaten.

But thanks to the Beeb yesterday the greater viewing public saw the Georgia game, they got to see how Barry “What the fud” Ferguson plies his trade every week. Look for square ball, look for square ball, think “this balls round not square it’s round”, then pass ball square then as all good footballers do after the pass it’s move, yes move behind an opponent that’s right you can hide there for a little while before you have to pass it square again.

Though thanks to the B.B.C. way of using as many different production teams as is possible to cover one event those darn sarf got the MoTD crew to chew the fat before, during and after the game. One imagines the usual banal witterings from Hansen and Shearer, so they were deprived of Dougie “chimp lugs” Donnelly the ubiquitous Pat Nevin and the rest of the Scottish Brains Trust, who told us that Georgia were a good team, not withstanding the fact they finished bottom of their last two qualifying groups and were currently not occupying that spot because of the played eleven, lost eleven, goals for 3, goals against 40, Faroe Islands.

The Brains Trust also included one Paul Hartley of Celtic who came out with the classic statement at half time about how they should test the Georgia ‘keeper as in the first half it was the one thing “we haven’t did“.

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